OFFSTAGE: What Will Make Keith Urban Turn the Chair Around

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I know this is just a commercial. But anytime Keith Urban talks about authenticity, it feels, well, authentic. So on this promo spot for his stint as a judge on The Voice — the one all the way in Australia, sadly — Urban talks about what he’s hoping to find in the singers who will take part in the blind auditions that have made the show so famous. “It’s authenticity. That’s the thing I’m listening for. It’s just that pure believability that I feel like this person is speaking to me,” he says. “The right voice, knowing how to use that voice, and the passion that’s really on fire. That’s what it comes down to.” So listen up, contestants: If you want to get Urban to turn his chair around, that’s your list of must-haves. Urban adds the “blind” part of the show is pretty much just like real life. “It’s the same as when I hear a song on a radio by a new artist. I don’t know what they look like. It’s all about the voice,” he says. “And I love the fact that we get a chance to connect with that before anything else.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.